School-goers React: Is Distance Learning Actually a Help?
Kyllian Thorne, reporter
As COVID-19 wreaks havoc throughout the world, students and teachers alike find
themselves thrust into a new and unfamiliar situation. Distance learning is forcing students to
completely readjust their approach to school.
There have been multiple problems with distance learning already, such as new
challenges on social media sites such as Facebook or TikTok. These challenges encourage
students to leak Google Meet codes to the Internet so unwanted visitors can join at any time.
Unfortunately, this has led to many problems, with instances of complete strangers joining the
Meet to fill the text chat and voice chat alike with endless profanity, and even exposing
themselves on camera.
Beyond this, however, is the simple case of students not being engaged enough with
class or not keeping up. In some cases, this affects the student’s physical and mental health.
Senior Gabriel Kouder said, “It stresses me out. My teachers give me
nonstop work and I have to sacrifice sleep.” He suggests that the workload is simply too much
for the average student. Ideally, he says, teachers should “assign less work, and start caring
(more) for the mental health of the students.”
Even students out of state suffer from similar issues: Kasey Cook, a sophomore at
Grayson County High School in Kentucky, offers some insight: “It seems as though the only
people... staying completely caught up are those with higher grades and/or in advanced
classes, whereas others… are struggling to focus, or just not doing it at all,” he says.
Even some teachers have been condemning the system: West Tech’s own Aaron
Dunning, government teacher said, “[Distance learning] causes us to really struggle with how
to mold our lessons to these environments. It’s almost like being a first-year teacher again.” Mr.
Dunning proceeds to say that adapting to distance learning will simply take too long for teachers
in terms of using the system effectively. “Some teachers could do it quickly,” he says, “but a lot
of teachers aren’t good at technology.”
However, distance learning has shown in many cases that students can actually benefit
from the system. Whatever the stats show, it certainly seems like distance learning will stick
around, at least for the 2020-2021 school year. Students and teachers can only hope that
eventually, they will learn how to manage and control this unusual system.
Due to COVID-19, students find themselves set up in Google Meet classrooms that are strange and uncomfortable for many.